by Linda Fregoli
It is not only pandemic deniers and conspiracy theorists in general who challenge and doubt the measures put in place by governments and health authorities to combat the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic . There are even some enclaved religious communities that have been drawing attention because of their rebellious behaviour: they are the Hasidic communities in Israel and New York City. The latter is home to a Satmar community that is known to the general public thanks to the television miniseries Unorthodox, which is distributed by the digital streaming platform Netflix
November 25, 2020 “If only 10 people are admitted to eachservice, the great majority of those who wish to attend Masson Sunday or services in a synagogue on Shabbat will bebarred. And while those who are shut out may in some in-stances be able to watch services on television, such remote viewing is not the …
The Coronavirus pandemic has generated an unprecedented health emergency, that has severely affected our daily lives. Government “alarmed” responses, aimed at limiting the devastating impact of the health crisis “have led to a resurgence of authoritarianism, particularly in Western democracies,” resulting in unimaginable restrictions of fundamental rights and liberties. In this framework, the pandemic has had serious implications on religious freedom, as measures restricting gatherings have deeply affected faith communities’ practices and rituals.
Undoubtedly, in a first phase, the pressing need to safeguard the compelling interests of public health and safety prevailed. However, the pandemic has also emphasized the crucial interplay between competing rights and the courts have often had the difficult task of reaching a reasonable balance between the conflicting claims of individual liberty and preservation of healt.
In the U.S. context, state restrictions on religious freedom claims have been fiercely litigated during the lockdown, resulting in complex dynamics between state governors, federal courts and the US Department of Justice.
As states grapple with when and how to reopen establishments amid the pandemic, religious freedom remains a legal flashpoint – particularly for the conservative nonprofits that have taken a leading role in representing churches which have challenged stay-home orders.
Washington: The US Commission on International Religious Freedom on Tuesday welcomed the decision of India’s Supreme Court to relax conditions for the release of individuals detained as “foreigners” in Assam due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19.
UNITED STATES COMMISSION on INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM: The Global Response to the Coronavirus: Impact on Religious Practice andReligious Freedom. By Scott Weiner, Policy Analyst; Kirsten Lavery, International Legal Specialist; and Dominic Nardi, Policy Analyst